Welcome to the blog for An Introduction to Architecture and Visual Communications.

Please use this blog to post your glosses.

post titles uncapitalized!!!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Ambidextrous derives from the 1640s from ambidexter which means, “double-dealing”. This term, however, was around since 1610s. This term could also have been derived from the French word, ambidextre or from Latin, ambidexter. The first root of this word, ambi means “both” and dexter means “right-handed”, this translates literally to “right-handed on both”. [1]
Ambidextrous is a term that describes being able to use both hands sufficiently. It is a motor skill talent where instead of being dominant in one hand, one is dominant in two.[2] This means both hands are equally adept to perform in equal strength and efficiency. Unfortunately, being ambidextrous is rare, only one of one hundred people is naturally ambidextrous.[3] Other individuals that are ambidextrous are not naturally born with the talent and instead, is a practiced and evolved skill.
On the other hand, many people often experience alternating levels of cross dominance even if one is not ambidextrous [4]. In other words, there are situations in which one will favour one hand for certain tasks, even if it is the non-dominant. For instance, one may be right-handed but use their left hand just as equally adequate when making crafts, or holding a cup. This situation defines someone who is ambisinistrous, which is a skill that people naturally obtain, and if developed further can lead to improved dexterity in both hands, and perhaps ambidexterity. [5]
It is common for one to be ambisinistrous rather than ambidextrous purely because it is common instinct. For example, everyday actions consists of cross-dominance instances where one uses the non-dominant hand. In other cases, there are hobbies that improve ambidexterity, such as: playing piano, guitar, baseball, or knitting and most commonly today is typing on the computer. These activities require use of both hands simultaneously and used adequately to perform well. For instance, playing piano require both hands to be performing different tasks at the same time at varying strength, speed, and motion. These hobbies not only become advantageous to one’s growing ambidexterity but stimulate his or her brain. Those who are ambidextrous have almost a symmetrical brain, unlike right handed individuals who show strong left brain dominance. [6]
Throughout history, there have been many figures that have mastered this technique or was born with it. Artist, Leonardo Da Vinci, was ambidextrous with extraordinary talents for the fine arts. Similarly, Ludwig Van Beethoven, pianist and composer, was notably considered ambidextrous and finally, Benjamin Franklin, a well-noted polymath, was also ambidextrous.[7] All in all, being ambidextrous can be a natural talent or a practiced skill, either way it is considered an impressive benefit.

[1] Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology, "Ambidextrous." Accessed November 13, 2012. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=ambidextrous.
[2] Oxford Dictionary. Oxford University Press, http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/ambidextrous (accessed November 16, 2012).
[3] Crezo, Adrienne. mental_floss, "11 Facts About Ambidextrous." Last modified 2012. Accessed November 13, 2012. http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/126413.
[4] Lewis, Deane P. dl.id.au, "Laterality, Cross-dominance & Ambidexterity." Last modified 2006. Accessed November 13, 2012. http://dl.id.au/?f=3.
[5]Nuttall, Hunter. Personal Development for Polymaths, "10 Questions and Answers On Ambidexterity." Last modified 2009. Accessed November 13, 2012. http://hunternuttall.com/blog/2009/10/ambidexterity-questions-and-answers/.
[6] See Foot note 3
[7] "Why being ambidextrous is twice as good." The Guardian. January 26, 2010. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/jan/26/ambidextrous-children-schools (accessed November 13, 2012).

No comments:

Post a Comment